Thursday, May 18, 2006


Which Party Is More Corrupt?

Thanks to The Daily Kos for this—a Gallup survey shows that Americans are hip to the corruption that permeates Congress. Most people, though, say both Democrats and Republicans are equally corrupt, thus offending mainstream liberal Democrats.

Whether or not both parties are equally corrupt remains to be seen. Right now, since the Republicans are in the driver’s seat, my hit is they’re getting the greater share. Should the Democrats get back in control, things will probably shift. The big donors don’t really care which side is in. Both sides know who butters their toast—and pays for it, too. I do have to admit the Republicans really seem shameless about their whoring.

All The Facts and the Republican Culture of Corruption
by georgia10
Wed May 17, 2006 at 08:51:20 AM PDT

According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans are acutely aware of corruption in Congress. Since the beginning of the year, the number of Americans who believe most members of Congress are corrupt has "increased significantly," with "slightly fewer than half of Americans believ[ing] most members are corrupt." As to which party is trusted to deal with corruption in government, Democrats have consistently enjoyed a 10 point lead over Republicans (41% to 29%).

Despite those numbers, we have a problem. A major one:

The May 5-7, 2006 poll also asked Americans their perceptions about whether the corruption scandals in Washington over the past year mostly involve the Republicans, the Democrats, or both parties equally. Seventy-six percent say it involves both parties equally, while 15% say the scandals mostly involve Republicans, and 5% say they mostly involve Democrats.

The culture of corruption theme has taken hold--but it is affecting the Democratic Party as well. Who is to blame for this flawed American perception? A large amount of the blame can be placed on the press. And no, this isn't a knee-jerk and baseless "blame the media" post. Allow me to explain.

It is a well-documented fact that in reporting on the last corruption scandal, various media outlets repeatedly omit the fact that the corrupt official is a member of the Republican Party. Take the conviction of former Illinois Governor Ryan. As Media Matters documented, NBC, CBS, NPR, Fox News, and TIME failed to mention that Ryan was a Republican. That sin of omission occurred with respect to the Duke Cunningham scandal and the Freddie Mac illegal contribution scandal as well.

I won't go on and list the countless times that Republicans have accused Democrats of equally contributing to the culture of corruption. Suffice it to say that too many times, reporters have allowed that lie to go unchallenged (Chris Matthews, to his credit, recently called Kate O'Beirne out on this very issue). Whether it's leaving out party affiliation or sitting back in silence and letting lies from the mouths of spinmiesters take hold, the press needs to do a better job when it comes to reporting on corruption.

And beyond that sin of omission, we have the sin of commission as well. This is best evidenced by the Katie Couric debacle, when she angrily insisted on air that Democrats took money from Jack Abramoff.

Is it that hard to slip in the word "Republican" into an article or a news report? "Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff." "Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay." See? It's not that difficult to do. I'm not asking that the press do the Democrats' messaging for them; I'm just asking them to give the American people the full facts they deserve. If a Democrat is caught up in a scandal, label him as the Democrat that he is. If the story is about a Republican, go ahead, dare to add the word "Republican" somewhere in there. There IS a difference between the parties, and it's high time Americans are made aware of that fact.

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